MENU
component-ddb-728x90-v1-01-desktop

Solar, drugs, and doctors | The governor signs major bills in Las Vegas

Gov. Sandoval visited the Tesla Energy Warehouse in Las Vegas on Thursday to sign more bills into law. 6/15/17 (Jeff Gillan | KSNV)

In the crowded foyer of UNLV’s Greenspun School of Urban Affairs, Gov. Brian Sandoval donned a white doctor's jacket.

You'd give the governor a gift, too, if he was about to sign legislation that was going to give UNLV’s fledgling medical school $25 million more in state money. The funds will help the school – which welcomes its first class next month – build its new medical campus in Las Vegas' medical district.

Two weeks after the Legislature finished its business, the governor came to Southern Nevada on Thursday to finish some business, signing important bills that could touch thousands of Nevadans.

At Tesla's facility in the southwest valley, he signed Assembly Bill 405, which its supporters say will revive Nevada's solar industry.

"This is hundreds, if not thousands of jobs," the governor said to the crowd of lawmakers, solar executives, and solar workers.

What the bill does is allow solar customers to get reimbursed for the power they produce. Regulators curtailed that in 2015, effectively stalling the industry.

"405" is the fix.

Bills, of course, are about people. I met solar worker Simon Anderson.

What does it mean to him, I asked?

"It means everything. It means we're back in business. It means those 250 people who have lost their jobs are going to have jobs again,” said Anderson.

Anderson was referring to his company, Sunrun, which laid off workers when the Public Utilities Commission trimmed the solar rebates. After the Legislature adjourned two weeks ago, Sunrun said it was reentering the Nevada market.

Bills are also about people like diabetes patient Soila Solano.

"Spending wise, it would be between 400 and 600 dollars a month just on diabetes medications," she told News 3.

I met her at the governor's next stop, where he helped open the Culinary Union's new health center, and where he signed Senate Bill 539, which forces insulin makers to be more honest and open about their pricing. It could also give people like Solano a real break.

"It’s going to save us a lot," Solano says, "being able to treat this disease and not hesitating on getting our medication."

Bills are about people, and even about governors, who told me today the insulin bill, for him, was personal. Diabetes killed his grandfather.

"This was my mom's dad and he's somebody that I saw suffer because of that. He passed away several years ago," said Sandoval.

For this governor, it was a busy Southern Nevada day ... with a huge impact.

Trending